Workshop Scotland April 23rd 2016

Hugh Piggott is holding a course in Scotland  April 23rd 2016.

Accommodation is provided from Saturday 23rd to Saturday 30th April 2016. These will be the arrival and departure days. The course will run for six days from 24th to 29th.

Cost £750 including accommodation.  A limited number of student discounts may be available if there are enough people paying full price.

This may be your only opportunity to be taught by Hugh Piggott personally as he is not planning to teach workshops outside of Scotland.

Full details and booking on his website here

Save Our Planet Awards

We are very excited to have been nominated for the Save Our Planet Awards.

These awards are in their second year and it means a lot to us to be nominated for an award that is focused om environmental issues.  Many people know us as the “windmill people” because we have been teaching people to build their own wind turbines since 2007. We have taught many courses in our local area of Co. Leitrim and have also been teaching further afield – both in Co Kilkenny and Portugal our next workshop in in Lisbon in January.

So pop on over to vote for us in the Save Our Planet Awards. If we are successful then more people will hear about home built wind turbines.

German state set for 100% renewable this year, Aiming For 300%

Germany’s northernmost state Schleswig-Holstein lies on the base of the Jutland Peninsula between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.

It will produce as much green electricity as it consumes over the year for the first time in 2014. It also plans to eventually generate as much as 300% of its electricity from renewables. This is a big achievement as eight years ago it generated about 30% of its electricity from wind power.

Two years ago the state’s planed to go 300 percent renewable, a target that then-Environmental Minister Peter Altmaier did not doubt the state could reach.

This year, Schleswig-Holstein will cross a symbolic milestone towards that goal by producing as much renewable electricity as the state consumes in electricity (including conventional) over the year as a whole – meaning that the figure is a net calculation, not that the state can do without interconnections to Denmark and other parts of Germany. Indeed, the state needs the grid both to sell its excess renewable power and to purchase conventional electricity.

In April, the state’s Energiewende Minister told German website Klimaretter that the government’s new target for 40-45 percent renewable electricity by 2025 is not enough to offset the drop in nuclear power by the end of the phaseout in December 2022 – a statement that stretches the case.

In 2013, Germany met 25 percent of its domestic power demand from renewables, with nuclear making up around 15 percent. Renewables would therefore need to grow by 15 percent to completely offset nuclear, putting the country at 40 percent renewable power by 2022.

Sources: Renewables International, and

New hybrid battery system

The German company ASD  have [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]a new hybrid battery, combining the strengths of stand-alone and grid-tie storage systems[/inlinetweet]. They say the new battery significantly raises a household’s degree of self-sufficiency, frequently to over 90 percent. It is also cheap to produce and supply, thanks to the small number of components, typically costing 20 percent to 30 percent less than other lithium-ion batteries on the market.

“We are already seeing enormous demand for our new battery system” said Wolfram Walter, Managing Director of ASD. “It combines the advantages of both stand-alone and grid-tie storage systems in one device – which is unprecedented in the market. By introducing our hybrid technology, we took a huge step towards making battery systems more efficient, and above all more cost-effective.”

Homeowners have previously had to choose between grid-tied and stand-alone storage systems. Houses with grid-connected systems draw power from the grid almost continuously, even when their batteries are fully charged. Stand-alone storage systems, on the other hand, disconnect the house completely from the public grid as soon as sufficient power is stored and then supply the home with power produced on site. Unfortunately, these systems have a big disadvantage in that if the battery no longer furnishes enough power to supply all the appliances in the home, the storage system is shut down and the house draws all of its electricity from the grid again. Conventional stand-alone battery systems therefore only allow either fully battery-based or grid operation, but not both at the same time.

The hybrid battery system combines the operating principles and advantages of both technologies it works like a stand-alone system and disconnects the house from the grid for as long as its batteries are able to furnish sufficient power. The house thus needs no further power from external supplies and operates autonomously. At times when the battery capacity is insufficient, the system automatically procures the additional quantity of energy required from the power grid. By design, the system therefore combines both energy sources and thus utilizes the maximum amount of battery power directly on site. This flow of current is regulated via a computer-controlled filter developed by ASD for the hybrid battery.

The operating principle of ASD’s hybrid battery significantly increases a household’s degree of self-sufficiency compared to that achieved with existing systems, frequently topping 80%. It takes less than a millisecond to switch between the two operating modes, so the changeovers are detected neither by humans nor the appliances in a system.

The battery is suitable for both AC and DC coupling. This enables more flexible planning than previous storage types, which are specifically designed for either AC or DC operation. The battery can be charged by photovoltaic installations, CHP plants and small wind powered generators alike.

For morel information: ASD Sunstorage